Mt Lebanon Magazine

710 Washington Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15228

Mt Lebanon Magazine

The official magazine of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania

get out of my garden

Summer is in high gear and we revel in its lush greenery. It starts slowly every spring as daffodils and tulips come and go, azaleas burst into startling bright ball gowns. Flats of flowers call our name as we anxiously wait for the last frost. For a couple of weeks we glory in the excitement of our newly planted flowers. Then reality hits. The annoying plants are back. I’ve only listed three here, but they relentlessly reappear each April, and will flourish if I don’t stay vigilant.  If you recognize these plants in your yard, you might want to help them to leave.

Garlic Mustard is an invasive weed that masquerades as a lovely, leafy wildflower.  It’s a biennial flowering herb, growing tall with tiny white flowers one year, and then staying leafy and low the next. European settlers brought it here a long time ago, and it liked it here so much that it multiplied and disturbed the biodiversity in North America. Get out!

Garlic mustard
Garlic mustard

Poison Oak is another annoying guest in my garden. I blithely pulled it up last year, and ended up at Urgent Care. This is another one that masquerades as something harmless — perhaps a wayward sprouting acorn. Note the three leaves. It can get viney and it nestles among dense ground cover. Get out!

IMG_0138 (1)
Poison oak

Virginia Creeper appears everywhere. It climbs brick walls, it wraps and strangles my bushes, it creeps through my myrtle. Actually it climbs rather than creeps, but the creeper name is appropriate for its creepy presence. My friend, Virginia, does not like the name of this vine. When researching this stuff, I found that some people grow Virginia Creeper on purpose. While it does turn a lovely shade of red in autumn, I am not a fan. You can dig it up, but it’s difficult to eradicate because it spreads via rhizomes. Darn those rhizomes. Get out!

Virginia creeper
Virginia creeper

So enjoy your garden, pull your weeds, and protect your friendly flora.


  1. Author’s gravatar

    Hi Melissa–What a great article and perfect timing! I’m still on a mission to grow a sustainable garden and remove all grass from my landscape. I still have a long way to go. These dreaded weeds are by far some of the most prolific–it’s very difficult to get them out. Thanks for the good advice! All my best to you! –Debi

  2. Author’s gravatar

    Marvelous, Motsy! All too familiar with these weeds- unfortunately!!! Altho, much more despising poison ivy than oak. TONS of THAT three-leafed wonder in our yard. I certainly remember your fun escapades with poison OAK. 😡
    Well done! Next time include thistles. They’re THE WORST here!!!!! 😜

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